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The primary goal of The Rapid City Downtown Master Plan is to create a unified vision for the downtown area to help guide public and private investments over the next 5 to 10 years and beyond. Throughout the planning process, information and input will be collected from diverse stakeholders. The Plan will identify strategies for implementation with recommendations for priorities, sequencing and financing.

Working with the City of Rapid City and the Downtown Business Improvement District, the consultant team of Denver-based Progressive Urban Management Associates and Kansas City-based Gould Evans will build upon past planning efforts to better understand downtown market dynamics.


A community outreach process is underway to involve business, neighborhood, resident and civic constituents throughout the community with an emphasis on involvement from downtown stakeholders.

A Plan Advisory Team has been set up to guide the process and will provide primary oversight, offer creative input and a “reality check” as alternatives are developed. The Advisory Team includes downtown leaders, including City and BID officials, civic partners, residents and key property and business owners.

Working Groups have been formed that include local Rapid City leaders and experts in their fields. The intent of the working groups is to incorporate the variety of issues that are relevant to downtown, engage a broad cross-section of Rapid City’s civic leadership, plus augment initial reconnaissance into Rapid City’s challenges, opportunities and priorities. The working groups are organized around the following topic areas: Vibrant Economy, Public Realm, Urban Design/Transportation Solutions, Downtown Experience, Arts and Innovation, and Housing and Livability.

For all Rapid City residents to register their aspirations and opinions about downtown an online survey will be available in November plus community Open Houses will be convened in January. A two-day design charrette/workshop will organize ideas on how to improve downtown and then draft plan concepts are set to be ready for community review by early April.


A final master plan document will emerge at the end of the process and will include the following components:

  • Final vision elements for the future of downtown Rapid City
  • Framework that provides illustrative mapping of key concepts and improvements
  • Action plan that identifies final 1) strategic program initiatives and 2) transformative projects and investments that become the foundation for a 5 to 10-year work plan for the City, BID and their civic partners
  • Recommendations for aligning the City and BID with the implementation priorities of the Master Plan, including staffing, budgeting, resource development, corporate and management structure
  • Design Guidelines, including a set of performance-based flexible guidelines
  • To illustrate the intent of the guidelines, conceptual site plans and elevations will be prepared for the top 3 transformative projects identified.

For each transformative initiative, detail will be provided for project sequencing, roles of responsibilities of the City, BID and other civic partners, estimated costs and financing options and benchmarks to measure success.  

The intent of the Master Plan is to become a springboard for action, with several initiatives taking shape immediately upon plan adoption.


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